Archive | November, 2011

Good news, a giveaway

Where do I begin…tonight was a blast. First, we got to do our usual bedtime routine for Rand. Here’s Rand in his sleep sack ready to hit the sack, and me ready for a fun dinner out with the girls followed by…

A book launch party! My talented friend Rachel Hernandez wrote “My Secret Angel and Me” – a well-written beautifully illustrated book that is also a great tool for parents to teach their children the gospel story of Christmas, and it even touches on Santa (you could say it is the Christian version of an Elf on the Shelf type book). Brilliant.  Not to mention, the book itself is a work of art by Ashley Adorno (Rachel’s sister-in-law).  I can’t stop reading it.  It’s already sold out online, but here’s a list of retail locations who will ship one to you…or even better…just keep reading…

So you may wonder…what’s Rach doing in this picture? She is signing a copy of the book & angel set for a Paper Road reader!!! This book set will be our very first giveaway (hopefully more to come). Here’s how to enter:

1. Post a comment briefly telling why you want the book OR who you’d gift it to

For additional entries (one for each additional comment), post in the comment section that you have done any of the following:

2. “Share” this post on facebook (see bottom for link) and then post a comment that you shared it

3. Tweet the post, and post a comment that you tweeted it

4. Mention/link to the giveaway in your blog and post your blog link in comments

There will be a random drawing done at the end of the day on Monday, December 5th so start blogging & commenting!

I’m so excited that Rachel’s book is our first fun giveaway.  When I moved to Pinehurst, Rachel and I were introduced because her mom and my mother-in-law are friends.  Rach invited me to join a bible study she was starting in her home and even though I barely knew her, I went.  So did a bunch of other girls – none of us knew each other, but all were asked by Rachel, who was lead by the Holy Spirit  (She invited a girl she met at mother’s morning out and another was standing in line near Rachel at Chick-fil-a)!  Now, 3 years later, we are all still great friends and the bible study is still going.

11 super sweet ladies…would you believe that between all of us there are TWENTY-FIVE KIDS?!  (some still in utero) What’s in that Moore Co. water?

Speaking of kids…Rand had on his Tim Tebow jersey today in support of his favorite football player.

And here he is working on his Heisman pose…

Wes and I wish there were a lot more Tim Tebows out there. He inspires us to be bold in our faith.  CHECK IT OUT. (note: I fast forwarded and linked to the last of the interview, but feel free to start it over and listen to the whole clip)

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Who are these people?

I love my silly family.  What a fun time we had at Eddie & Emily’s wedding last month.  While we all had a blast together as kids, the older we get the more fun it seems to be.  Now we just need another wedding to get us all together again!

Oh, and props to the bride and groom for a fun “photo booth” at the wedding reception.  So great!


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Here we are after the finish of the Turkey Trot.  Charlie, mom, Rand, Wes, me, Sam, Kristen and Elizabeth.  While Sam, Kristen and Wes all posted some pretty impressive times, the rest of us took a more leisurely pace.  It didn’t help that Rand decided to fuss from mile 1 on…we actually crossed the finish line with Mom, Elizabeth and me taking turns pushing the stroller and carrying Rand who was thrilled to be carried.  He even clapped for himself as we approached the finish line.  Clapping is his new thing.  And screeching like an owl.

We were glad to see such a great turnout for the race – I think I heard there were over 1900+ people who participated.  Well, Rand is napping now so I’m off to get in a good Saturday nap myself.

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Friday Photo Flashback

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Wowzers. Today, we had a doc appointment in Charlotte and, while in the neighborhood, we cruised through IKEA, aka: the most kid-friendly store I’ve ever been in. We plopped Rand into a highchair for lunch and he was so happy just watching the buzz all around him. He even tasted his first mashed potatoes (Wes wouldn’t share any meatballs) which got me thinking that we’ll have to puree some turkey and mashed potatoes for him this week!

Anyhow, on to the photo flashback…this foggy gem of Franklin siblings is from Thanksgiving 2009. Perhaps the foggiest and one of the most fun Thanksgivings. We were with our good friends the Halberts and the Butlers AND it was the Thanksgiving that we adopted our puppy Nina! I’m pretty sure I wore that same vest last year and what do you know…I have it on now. Good thing the weather has been different so we can tell which year is which!

I can’t show you a pic from last year because it was a freezing cold drizzlefest BUT, here’s a little video flashback from sunny 2008 (also the year I got a flip cam…).

We can’t wait to show Rand this fun family and community tradition. Already praying for good weather this year!

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I need of some slippers.  Our house has only 2 area rugs (one is under the dining room table) and combined with the fact that we now have 3 extra hours of “morning time” since Rand gets up at 5:30 am – I need something for my feet!   We are fine with the earlier start – Rand goes to sleep by 6pm and sleeps through the night – it is just taking some adjustment.

I think this adjusting would be much more fun if I could roll out of bed and slide my feet into some of these…

or these…


I’ve also been checking Zulily for a good deal.  Any other suggestions?

(Images: antropologie, Zapppos)

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Have I told you yet?

I’m thankful for Harris Teeter Express.

If you know me already, you may be sick of hearing how obsessed I am with the new Harris Teeter Express.  I’m convinced that this new service was made just for me. Both Wes and I have determined that the $4.95 fee actually saves us money.  How is that?  I usually have at least $4.95 in coupon savings, but mostly it saves me from the extra things I suddenly need once I’m inside HT.  Eggs? Check. Bread?  Check.  Yummy cheese, new brand of yogurt, extra bottle of wine, gum, magazine, oreos…hey, they were on sale…

I am a planner.  I like to plan out what I’m going to buy and what coupons I’m going to use.  The planning usually takes up to an hour to do…then I still have to go get it and shop for it which can take an hour or longer (especially if I’m using coupons or if it’s senior discount day).  But now I just make one list.  When I’m done with the list, I just hit “order.”  Right after I delete a few things to get my total down to what I want it to be, of course.  Then I  just pull up in front of Harris Teeter at the time I chose (you can order up to 6 days ahead) and someone loads them in the car and swipes my debit card.  So far, I’ve spent less time and a lot less money grocery shopping.  What has impressed me even more:  I always get a phone call prior to my pickup time notifying me my order is ready early and asking if there is anything I forgot or would like to add!  Harris Teeter did not pay me to say any of this, I promise.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Thank you Harris Teeter.

Okay…on to other things.  I’m guest blogging today about the Pinehurst Turkey Trot (a race sponsored by FirstHealth) over on, so go check it out.  Thank you awesome November weather.
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Also, I’ve been meaning to post this photo of Rand and Jonathan.  It was my favorite photo from our recent trip to the mountains.  Not only is it a fun moment captured, but also wows me because I never would have imagined that my sweet friend from way back in the 5th grade would be holding my son one day.  AND that our sons would be 1 week apart AND that his wife would become a great friend of mine too.  Thank you Lord for old friends!
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Today, I saw this fantastic Christmas swag (is that what you call it??) outside of the Aldena Frye Floral Design showroom in downtown Aberdeen.   Isn’t it fantastic?  I love how natural it is with the pine garland and pinecones, holly and grapevine all tucked in.  Magnolia too.  I think I need this at my front door.

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Friday Photo Flashback

I stole this photo from my facebook page…it is from a few years ago when my brother, Sam, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill. When I was a kid, I never could have guessed that all three of us Franklin kids would graduate, like our grandparents did, from Carolina. Tonight, I’m a proud Tar Heel watching a good basketball game in an even better setting – on an aircraft carrier! Whoever thought of that one deserves a pat on the back.

Go Heels!!!

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Happy Birthday Matt!

Happy Birthday to my (favorite) brother-in-law Matt.  Matt is one of the most fun people in our growing family and I’m looking forward to all the family adventures ahead – with and without snorkels.


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Look what I found

This afternoon, I went to heat up Rand’s sweet potatoes and guess what I found…I used to always wonder how on earth my mom could put her morning coffee in the microwave for a quick reheat and then totally forget about it until who knows when.  Guess I know how that feels now.

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Pumpkin and Blue & White mania

I can’t stop eating THIS pumpkin bread (good by itself but REALLY yummy with the maple cinnamon cream cheese).

I’m contemplating this recipe from the Picky Palate too…don’t they look good?

I think I’m overcompensating for not actually getting a pumpkin this year.  We also didn’t dress Rand up.  Boo to us.  I’ve always said I’m “holiday minimal” in my decorating style but maybe that really = lazy.

Anyhow…for those of you who inquired last time, my dishes are a mixture of Mottahedeh Blue Dragon (large plates and butter plates)

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And Mottahedeh Blue Canton (dessert plate, large tea cup and saucer, cereal bowls and dessert bowls).

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The photos are from but One Kings Lane just had a big sale on Blue Canton and I missed it!

Our everyday wedding china pooped out on us a few years ago.  But hey, at least it was only the china.  It only made it 6 years…Wes and I are going on 9.  Take that Kim Kardashian!  So…since I don’t get another wedding, I’ve been slowly collecting it over time for birthdays and Christmas.  It is dishwasher safe and microwaveable, of course.  Our formal china is Wedgewood Platinum (i.e. white with platinum rim) so it mixes well with that too if we ever have ALL of the family over.

I also found some tin Blue Dragon plates a few years ago and we use those for outdoor dining and I can still use the real thing to serve from.

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Friday photo flashback

Fall 1983. The famous family pumpkin costume.

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Zulily wins

While I am loving the new “express checkout” at Harris Teeter (you order your groceries online and then choose a time to pick them up…you can order up to 6 days in advance!  great for “planners” like me)…I got sucked in to the Zulily daily email today and ended up using some store credit to buy Rand one of these:

It is supposed to work in highchairs too.  And since Rand loves to chew on everything, I’m hoping this (and lots of prayer) will save us from some cold-season bugs.  It was a hard decision…there were 3 that I thought were super cute, but we only need one.


See you at Harris Teeter…it is Super Doubles this week!

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October Recap

October has been a full month…I’ve been a little slow in writing all of the fun things that have been going on around here.

So, October began with a trip to the beach

and then ended with a trip to the mountains.

In between, we celebrated lots of birthdays…
On my 30th (whoa!) we had a nice family party at my mother-in-law’s. The weather was perfect so we squeezed in some quality back-yard time before the yummy dinner and dessert. Best of all, my cousin Elizabeth lives in Durham now and can meet up for family events – so fun to have her close by!

These were the favors my mother-in-law, Carolyn, made for everyone who came to my birthday party – pumpkin bread wrapped in a cute fall dishtowel. She sure knows me! I made THIS maple cream cheese recipe to go with our bread. (Note: I also made the “Health nut brownies” but they tasted like Cliff Bars to my family…so I won’t be making them again.)

We wished Uncle James and Aunt Mary Devon Happy Birthday.

And we celebrated Wes’ birthday and Aunt Jax’s birthday (yep – same day as Wes…just 6 years apart). This is the only photo I have from the birthday dinner. A lot has changed in the last year. Dinner was over by 7pm and these two rascals took over the table.

Grandmommie Carolyn is getting good at her animal sounds. Rand loves it when you ask him what a cow says…or what a doggie says…

MJ is very talented and is teaching Rand lots of new things like multitasking. Here he’s showing Rand how to drive a Buzz Lightyear truck while politely asking for a cracker.

And this is right after he showed Rand how to “swap pacis”

We hung out with all the cousins at Eddie & Emily’s wedding

This is my favorite photo from the wedding…Grandfather “Bebo” breaking the rules…

We had some quality time with Uncle Sam – actually, I think this subject deserves its own post when I get around to it.

And some quality time with Aunt Mary Devon

Rand is gearing up for Thanksgiving and cut both bottom teeth. While they don’t show enough to photograph yet, check this photo out of Rand in his new highchair. With sweet potatoes and oatmeal under our belts, we branched out to some new solid foods…pears, apples, peas and whole grain rice cereal.

And most of all, we missed Geah…although I can’t help but wonder if she had something to do with my favorite birthday present. On Sunday, October 9th, while we were having coffee in the kitchen, this butterfly landed right outside on one of my zinnias. I can’t believe it stayed there long enough for me to go get my camera and come back. It was a sweet and beautiful moment – a gift – from the Lord.

November has a lot to live up to.

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One Year Later

Every year we take a trip to the NC mountains to spend a weekend with the Butlers and the Kings.  Jonathan and Ryan’s folks – Chip and Debbie – are dear friends who have the God-given gift of hospitality.  It is always a fun weekend of fellowship, great food, worship and even a few competitive board games.  Last year, all three girls were pregnant – due dates all within six weeks….so we took this photo:

And one year later…a lot has changed:

While the weekend wasn’t full of mountain climbing or sightseeing or even staying up late like we usually have done in the past…it was full of sweet memories (and sounds!) and we are already looking forward to next year. I wish I’d taken more pictures – especially on Saturday because it snowed.  It’s hard to believe just a few weeks ago we were at the beach! I did snap this one with my phone…Rand was pretty bundled up thanks to cousin MJ’s snuggly hand-me-downs.

Jackson and Rand had a lot to catch up on.

It is nearly impossible to get 3 little boys to sit still. I think we had too many people making faces and it was cracking Rand up. He giggled the entire time (his new thing is to cover his face when he laughs). If Jackson looks a little stunned to you, just cut him some slack. How would you be looking if you’d just woken up to 6 adults with cameras making crazy faces and animal noises at you???

And here’s one of our sweet hostess Debbie. We added THREE new people to the mix this year – she and Chip were such good sports to have all the babies there at once!

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